By HILLEL ITALIE
The Associated Press
Sunday, February 4, 2007; 8:46 PM
NEW YORK -- Sorry, e-book fans, whoever you are. You will be able to read the new Harry Potter on paper, listen to it, probably purchase it in Braille. But don't expect to download the text _ at least legally.
Author J.K. Rowling has not allowed the first six Potter stories to be released as e-books and has no plans to change that for the seventh and final work, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Neil Blair, a lawyer with Rowling's literary agency, told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Rowling has cited two reasons over the years: concern about online piracy (which has never been a major problem for the Potter books), and the desire for readers to experience the books on paper. E-books, hyped as the future of publishing during the dot-com craze of the late 1990s, remain a tiny portion of the multibillion dollar industry.
The author herself writes in longhand, a preference that led to a rather amusing delay in Potter VII last April.
"Why is it so difficult to buy paper in the middle of town?" the author, a resident of Edinburgh, Scotland, lamented in a diary entry posted at the time on her Web site.
"What is a writer who likes to write longhand supposed to do when she hits her stride and then realizes, to her horror, that she has covered every bit of blank paper in her bag? Forty-five minutes it took me, this morning, to find somewhere that would sell me some normal, lined paper. And there's a university here!" she wrote.
Rowling announced last week that "Deathly Hallows" would come out July 21. The six previous books have sold more than 325 million copies.